With all due respect to the name, it's no Rumor — Rumor Has It is staying open thanks to a “groundswell of support” online and in person, and the restaurant is moving to the east side of the Square.

With all due respect to the name, it's no Rumor — Rumor Has It is staying open thanks to a “groundswell of support” online and in person, and the restaurant is moving to the east side of the Square.
Lilly Carlson and Howie Lindeman announced on Facebook on June 5 that they would be closing the restaurant they had operated for more than three years at 319 S. Main on the Carthage Square.
Carlson said the community responded, asking them not to close so now they’re taking the opportunity to move to a new location.

A tough business
Lindeman and Carlson said the business was doing well, they were making money and having fun making quality food for a loyal customer base.
Running a restaurant is tough and the heat in the kitchen in an older building was starting to get to Lindeman.
“He just couldn't keep doing the 120 degrees in the kitchen thing,” Carlson said. “He was going to pass out and then what would we have. It was starting to become a serious health issue for Howie.”
“Our best story is we were doing a shrimp boil on a really hot August night,” Lindeman said. “And we've got three pots on the stove, and Chef Scott had his stove loaded, and we heard this little tiny 'tink' sound. We didn't know what it was. Later in the evening we discovered since thermometers only go to 120, when it gets past that, the bulbs blow.”

Breaking point
Lindeman and Carlson said they were “on the cusp” of closing for a long time.
On June 5, the Rumor Has It Facebook page carried the bad news.
“Gather ‘round; family meeting,” the post started. “We are closing Rumor Has It on 25 June. We choose to go out on the high side, #1 of 44 local eateries on TripAdvisor, 4.8 of 5 stars on our Facebook reviews and over 3800 followers.
“We realize this news will be met with disappointment by our loyal friends and absolute glee by those who would rather speak disparagingly than enjoy delicious comfort food; obviously, those two dozen folks are not reflected in our numbers!”
The post said the restaurant would remain open for business as usual until June 25.

The reaction
Rumor Has It's 3,800 Facebook followers reacted with a vengeance to the news.
“The main question people ask us is, 'as successful as you are, how can you close?'” Lindeman said. “We have a loyal customer, a well known gentleman here in town, a successful businessman, he stood at the desert case with tears in his eyes and said 'you can't close.' I think at that moment we believed him. It was very profound and that was the climate for those two weeks.”
The post garnered 134 reactions, 107 comments and 57 shares as customers reacted to the news.
After two weeks the families made the decision to keep the restaurant open and work on some of the problems. On the eve of the day they had planned to close, the Rumor Has It page carried the news to a Facebook audience that had grown to 4,000.
“In our Facebook posts over the last three and a half years, we've referred to our guests as 'family and friends,' declared that 'we get by with a little help from our friends' and that 'the meal is always better when the table is full.'” Lindeman said in the post. “These last three weeks has proven that to be so very true. There has been an organic groundswell of support. We have received texts, messages and read posts asking us to remain open; loyal family members have shared tears at the dessert case, and no one cries there, ever; and a close friend started a crowd-funding campaign, with which we became uncomfortable and refunded the donations. All gestures are appreciated and speak to the unity of those who share our table.”

Big move
After they decided to stay open, they made changes to improve ventilation in the kitchen and made plans to update the look of the restaurant.
Then they heard the Maple Leaf Marketplace, at 342 Grant St. on the east side of the Square was closing.
Carlson that made her remember an old menu from the old C&W Cafe, which was located in that building years ago.
Carlson said a man brought the menu to the restaurant a couple of years back of years back, and it sat on a shelf until recently.
“Handing it to me, he simply said, 'I was told to give this to you by a guy.'”Lindeman said on the Rumor Has It page. “ I sincerely thanked him; Lilly and I looked over the menu, I shook his hand and he left. Don’t even know his name.”
Lindeman said the restaurant has outgrown it's current location and needs a big change to shake things up.
“Not the fault of the building, we just overload the system…all the systems,” the post said. “We have stagnated in our space. It’s time for change . . . We discovered a property too large for our furniture, but simply too good to pass. That said, we are unbelievably excited! Institutional kitchen, four times the seating and a two-year old A/C system! We trust you will be patient as we grow? We’ll go as quickly as we’re able, promise.”
Lindeman wrote that they plan to move gradually, but hope to be in their new restaurant by Sept. 1 and celebrate Maple Leaf in their new home.